Gay Fitness: Want Bigger Shoulders?
Q: I’ve been working out for six months and have seen a big improvement in my chest and arms, but my shoulders are still narrow and puny. What can I do?
A: Big, broad shoulders complement your arms, chest and back and punctuate a well-developed upper body.
While appearances are important, there are two reasons why strengthening the shoulder muscles is so important:
1) It’s the best defense we have to preventing painful, often debilitating injuries to the shoulder joint including dislocation or, worse, a torn rotator cuff; and
2) The shoulder muscles assist in most exercises for your chest, back and arms; consequently weak shoulders mean those muscle groups won’t reach their full potential.
The deltoid (musculus deltoideus) plays a critical role in building strong shoulder muscles. This is the large triangular muscle covering the shoulder joint which allows movement, extension and rotation of the arm. It’s made up of three sections - the front, middle and rear deltoid. Also critical to improving your shoulder strength is working the upper traps (trapezius), located between the neck and shoulders.
The Shoulder Press is, without question, the best exercise to develop the front and middle delts as well as the traps.
TIP: If you turn your palms in (facing each other), rather than out when performing a Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press, you will increase the demand on your anterior deltoids and triceps and improve your overall pushing strength.
Avoid this exercise, however, if you are experiencing any shoulder pain! My recommendation is to restrict overhead pressing exercises such as the Shoulder Press to just one per workout and instead utilize Cable or Dumbbell Flyes, Lateral Raises, Shrugs and other exercises to avoid putting too much stress on the shoulder joints.
Here are two of my favorite exercises to help build big, strong shoulders. Ask a personal trainer at your gym or training facility to recommend others.